Filomena Tobias: Middle Finger-Flipping Miami Heat Fan's 15 Minutes of Fame Has Begun


While the viral celebrities of the Internet age are, in our minds, all part of the same dysfunctional family (Ladies and gentlemen, the VIRAL Family! Tay, Chris, Antoine, Charles, and Zombie Kid! Ready for action!) , the fact of the matter is that none of them actually know each other and none of them knew exactly when their 15 minutes of fame would begin.

So while I am a huge fan of Charles Ramsey, as you know, it's hard for me to act like the interruption of his still-ticking-but-almost-up 15 minutes of fame by a new burgeoning, temporary star is the violation of some sort of "viral" code.

After all, you just never know when the clock on your quarter hour may begin. So, no, I don't blame you, Filomena Tobias, for harshing my man Chuck Ramsey's soon-to-be-expiring fame.

"Who is Filomena Tobias?" you may ask.

Well, THIS is Filomena Tobias:

Filomena Tobias: Middle Finger-Flipping Miami Heat Fan's 15 Minutes of Fame Has Begun

Right now, you probably only know her as the fiftysomething botoxed Housewife of South Beach who said with her middle finger what a large portion of the basketball-watching part of society has been wanting to say for years: "Fuck you, Joakim Noah!!"

All it takes is a camera and a moment, and the 15-minute clock begins ticking, and so it was last night for Filomena Tobias, who we found out from a little digging (more on the digging in a moment) actually goes by the name "Phyllis."

So applying the "Seven Stages of Charles Ramsey" from yesterday, how far along exactly are we on Tobias's path to the Viral Hall of Fame?

Well, it's probably necessary for us to skip right to Stage 5 and go back and hit the other stages afterward. You all remember Stage 5, right? Background Dissection? (And by the way, I may have to shuffle the stages around to put Background Dissection closer to the beginning because this Tobias deal is proof positive that people immediately start running background checks and recognition software on the most innocuous of viral celebs.)

Well, it turns out that Filomena Tobias is not all that innocuous after all. Unless you define innocuous as "four times married and accused of murdering her fourth husband."  

New York magazine's montage of a death
New York magazine's montage of a death

Yes, Filomena Tobias is the widow of hedge fund manager Seth Tobias, who died in 2007 after drowning in the pool with a lethal dose of cocaine, Ambien and alcohol coursing through his veins after allegedly not being able to perform sexually earlier that night in the pool because Filomena deemed he was "too drunk."

It turns out that there was an extensive piece done on Tobias's death in New York magazine in 2008 that, from the details that have trickled out, might now deserve its own post after I get a chance to read the whole thing. (It's nine pages long.)

Just know that Filomena was introduced to Seth Tobias at a sex party by her then-husband, who parted ways with her because he couldn't afford her. He then went on to defend her in a civil suit filed by Seth Tobias's four brothers, who accused Filomena of murdering Seth, who died in the swimming pool all coked and Ambiened out waiting for a male stripper named "Tiger."

Good enough? So Filomena Tobias is a whack job, as if we didn't already think that an adult female practically jamming her middle finger up Joakim Noah's right nostril wasn't batshit crazy to begin with.

As for the other six stages of Viral Hall of Fame status?

STAGE ONE: FAKE TWITTER ACCOUNT Check. Early Thursday afternoon, somebody on Twitter planted their "fake account" flag into @FilomenaTobias on Twitter. As of this writing, no tweets have come from the account and it has only four followers. A Twitter popcorn fart, to say the least.

STAGE TWO: ANDERSON COOPER INTERVIEW In my Charles Ramsey piece, I wrote the following:

Interviews on an international stage are a must, and landing a spot as a subject of an Anderson Cooper live interview is like winning the viral hero version of American Idol. (For the record, winding up on The Today Show is the equivalent of winning The Voice, winding up on Good Morning, America is like winning Dancing With The Stars, and winding up on Entertainment Tonight is like getting rejected on elimiDATE.)

Well, no interviews yet, but I'm betting on Jerry Springer for Tobias, which would be the interview equivalent of sex in the hot tub on Blind Date.   STAGE THREE: VEILED ENDORSEMENT OFFERS Nothing yet, but I'm guessing the folks from Prozac along with a handful of Dade County plastic surgeons are licking their chops!

STAGE FOUR: MERCH Nothing yet, but she has an easy enough catch phrase to make it happen.


STAGE SIX: HATERS TRYING TO SCOOP YOUR HEAT The closest thing we have to anyone trying to inject themselves into Tobias's celebrity parade is her daughter, Victoria Racanati, who has spoken on the situation:

"She's embarrassed, but she is being a good sport," the daughter told the Sun Sentinel on Thursday. "She was having fun just like any other fan. All she has to say is that people need to get a life."

Right, the woman who is flipping off a grown man because he plays for the opposing team is telling all of us to get a life.

STAGE SEVEN: MUSICAL TRIBUTE Nothing even remotely close to "Dead Giveaway," but what is? I have a suggestion:

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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